Eric Decker should be a target for the Tennessee Titans if he is cut.
With less than two weeks until free agency unofficially begins, more and more players are getting mentioned as potential cap cuts.
Matt Williamson recently included Eric Decker as a player who could be cut if the New York Jets are going to completely blow up their roster to try to rebuild it. While I had thought about Brandon Marshall (who is a freak in his own right) I hadn’t thought about Decker being available.
I reached out to Jim Cobern to ask if he could do an analysis of what Eric Decker should ask for on the open market and why. He graciously obliged and ended up posting another detailed report of the player including extensive metric breakdowns on how he ended up at his final decision here.
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Maybe the most intriguing analysis of the player (not the money which is fascinating in its own right) is this quote here:
“Eric Decker has been one of the top complimentary wide receiver in the NFL for a while. Who could bring even more productive seasons in the future. But the injury he sustained in 2016 puts some doubt on his prospects.”
The injury is obviously going to be a huge part of what would even allow a WR like Decker to hit free agency in the first place, so it is to be expected. However, the words “complimentary wide receiver” give me some pause.
On one hand, people really underestimate how good Rishard Matthews is.
Last year he was stuck in a weird logjam behind Andre Johnson until the San Diego Chargers game. If you take his per game performance after that point and extrapolate it out Matthews would have ended up with an 1,174 yard season and 12 touchdowns.
That statline would have made him the 7th most productive WR in terms of receiving yards and tied him for 2nd most in receiving TDs. To me, that is a WR1 type player.
So, if that stands to reason then Eric Decker would be huge for the Tennessee Titans in free agency. Focus on a slot WR that also moonlights as a kick returner in the mid rounds and then go heavy on defense in round 1.
An under radar signing like this makes so much sense to me. Decker really has only been playing heavily for 5 years and will only be 30 at the start of next season.
He also won’t cost against future compensatory picks and he is a refined route runner that can win 1-on-1s consistently and catch the ball.
He is a very “Jon Robinson” type wide receiver that would be fairly cheep and who would give this team another weapon on offense without breaking the bank.